How To Handle The First Semester Out of School

OK, so the past four (or more) years have been incredibly fun. There's no denying this — the real world is going to come whether you like it or not.

As a recent graduate, I've been trying to navigate this transition with grace. It's a hard lifestyle change to make, but it's definitely doable. Luckily, you've got your friends at UChic out in the trenches for you to figure out what to expect out of life post college.

Accept the present
There's never been a more appropriate time for the cliche: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." This really applies to your situation. You will not get anywhere trying to live in the past. It's time to accept that you have had a great time and beautiful memories from the past few years, but it's time to focus on the present and your future.

Make smart choices
Everything you do from this point on should have logical reasoning behind it. Make a calculated decision about what your next step should be and make the necessary preparations to make it happen. Don't jump into graduate school because you're not sure what you want to do. You will end up in thousands of dollars of debt and might even still be unsure about what to do. Now's the time to take an unpaid internship or go on a service trip. Don't take this time for granted. You'll miss it when it's gone.

Save your money
There's nothing wrong with moving back in with your parents after graduation. Although it's not the most ideal situation, you will save so much more money doing this than trying to float around on your own until you land a good full-time job where you can afford to pay the rent yourself and then some. You'll have so many bills to pay in the near future and you'll be so grateful for every penny you've managed to pocket.

There's no right or wrong answer to how you decide to spend your time. If you want to jump right into full-time work, do it. If you want to take a short break before going into the workforce, that's fine, too. Just make a game plan and stick to it.

You've put in all the hard work to get through college — now's not the time to let everything slip out from under you.


Image: David Castillo Dominici /

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